I am having a strange problem with a site in english and swedish. This is the situation:

  • The site was built originally in english, which is set as the default language.
  • The language filter plugin is enabled but the "Automatic Language Change" is disabled. So everyone in the world should see only the english version.
  • The language switcher module is disabled.
  • The site was set up few months ago with swedish language, menu, and some articles, then the owner wanted to pause for not having enough time to translate all the contents. So the swedish version is now half ready half not.
  • Someone reported to the owner of the site that what they see is the swedish version and not the english.
  • We made many tests, we disabled the cache, we used swedish proxies etc, but we could never make the swedish language appear, it was always english.

We cannot replicate the problem, so how can I force the 100% of the users to see the english version without erasing the existing work done for the swedish version?

PS: The owner of the site doesn't want to finish now the swedish version and at the same time doesen't want to take off all the work done since now.

1 Answer 1


Blame Google my man! That's the biggest sniffer in the world, and I bet you any money that due to the fact your site is alive for a few months, it found Swedish articles on it's own and without your intention or intervention, and indexed them already.

Now, I don't know how did you organize your content and menus, which sitemaps you added to Google Search Console, but the simple fact that you disabled Languge Switcher Module is not enough, because Language Filter Plugin IS enabled, and content on Swedish is REACHABLE through front-end, isn't it? That's all Google needs, trust me.

So, you either unpublish language filter plugin and make Swedish content totaly unreachable even for yourself, and develop it on another test domain until its ready for prime time.
Or be ready to survive customer's complaints if you leave it this way.

  • 2
    You are right, I did not consider the Google indexing, in fact I get results even for a few swedish pages. Now I put a rule in robots.txt to disallow /sv/ let's hope that it will work. Thanks.
    – Mario
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 10:05
  • Your answer clarified the cause why some people see the swedish, and I thank you a lot for that, but in my question I asked how can I force every possible visitor to see the english without actually unpublishing or erasing the work done.
    – Mario
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 10:17
  • I think I gave you a solution, didn't I? Unpublish language plugin and develop swedish content on another test domain until it is ready for the prime time. Other than that, I am not aware of any other 100% proof method of acheiving what you want.
    – Mikan
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 10:20
  • I asked how to force the 100% of the visitors to go to the english version leaving the site as it is (without unpublishing etc). Even if your answer was helpful it is not resolutive to my exact question. Maybe someone else knows a way... is possible.
    – Mario
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 10:33
  • Of course... I would like to know that too...
    – Mikan
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 10:35

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